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Showing posts from September, 2012

The Revelation of Jesus Christ | Revelation 1

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Welcome to Real Life. I think I know someone. Then something happens - a crisis or joyful event - and I see that person in a whole new way. The Apostle John knew Jesus. He spent years at Jesus’ side. Then one day on the island of Patmos, John saw him in a whole new light. 
John was one of twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. He was also one of Jesus’ closest friends on earth. After Jesus’ death and resurrection, John became a leader in the early church. He wrote five books of the New Testament: the Gospel of John; a trio of letters titled 1 John, 2 John, and 3 John; and the book of Revelation.

The Gospel of John is his narrative of Jesus’ life. In it, we learn that Jesus is more than a prophet. He is God himself, the Creator of the world and everything in it, who put on flesh and came to earth to save us.[1] John wrote in order that we may believe Jesus is the Christ and by believing have eternal life.[2] In 1st John, we discover that “God is love” and that perfect love drives out …

Restrained for Greatness

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Welcome to Real Life.  This week's blog is a guest post by my friend Maureen Zappala. She asks, "Have you ever felt frustrated by restrictions?"

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity,  but of power, love, and self-discipline.[1]
Self-discipline. What comes to mind when you hear that word? I don’t know about you, but that word can make me crazy! It speaks of restraint. Limits. Boundaries. I'm not a fan of restraints, limits or boundaries.

But, what if restraints didn't exist? Are they good in some cases? I was a research engineer for NASA. There, in the Propulsion Systems Laboratory we conducted tests on full scale jet engines with thrust of 30,000 pounds of force. That's power! To test them, they had to be secured with restraints. These NEVER diminished the significance or purpose of the engine. They enhanced it. With the engine held in place, we could study its effects and feel its power. The restraints increased the wonder and marvel of that ma…

Hope that Does Not Disappoint | Surviving a Brain Tumor

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Welcome to Real Life. What will tomorrow bring? A phone call or a doctor’s report can change our world in an instant. Though life is uncertain, God is not. He is our firm foundation, an ever-present hope regardless of what tomorrow brings.

“What is that?” I gasped at the large mass on the MRI image.

“It’s a brain tumor,” my best friend Helen calmly replied.
A brain tumor! I was stunned. I didn’t know whether to scream, cry, or pray. Not wanting to upset her, I held back my emotions. How could she be so calm?

Then Helen told her me story. She was suffering from weird headaches. Once she almost blacked out at work. Her physician scheduled an MRI. It revealed the brain tumor.

For an entire week, Helen hadn't told a soul. She needed time to sort through her own strong emotions, before dealing with ours. She also wanted more information before sharing the news. After meeting with her surgeon, she learned the tumor was large—an inch-and-a- half long. But slow-growing and encapsulated. T…

Life Changed This Year | A Son Leaves for College

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Welcome to Real Life. Believe it or not, kids do grow up. Life changes. So, enjoy them today! 
I wrote this in September of 2005 after my first son went off the college.

After twelve years of homeschooling, my oldest son Dennis graduated and left for college this fall. Looking back, I was so busy his senior year that the reality of him leaving did not sink in until the end of summer. Strong emotions began to surface. I was washing dishes and Dennis was sitting at the kitchen table on his computer. Suddenly, my eyes welled with tears. He won’t be around anymore. Not that he was always home. With work and friends and responsibilities, he was often on the run. But, I knew he’d be home in bed each night. I’d see his sleepy face each morning. After homeschooling all these years, I was used my sons being around me and I liked it. That was about to change.

In my early years of homeschooling, as summer would end my feelings of anxiety would begin. Oh no! Soon we have to start school again. By …